The almost 40-meter (130-foot) tall structure is a combination of a belfry and a clock tower. It leans slightly, so it is often associated with the tower of Pisa. The top deck was used to keep watch over the surrounding territory, in case of a surprise attack by an enemy or in case of fires.
Next to the tower there is the Church of Sergius of Radonezh, the only building in the Russian northwest constructed over a gateway that was preserved till these days. It was built by Archbishop Johna at the Ruling Court of the Kremlin in 1463. The church had a very specific purpose and symbolized the idea of peace, closeness and spiritual alignment between Novgorod and Moscow. The story of the church's frescoes is relatively unusual: before WORLD WAR II they were taken off the walls and kept in a museum, however, since then these miniature compositions have been returned to their intended environment.